Sinusitis symptoms

Sinusitis is the medical term for a sinus infection; it is an inflammation of the nasal passages and sinuses. The sinuses are air-filled, hollow sacks that connect the nostrils and the nasal passages; they contain defenses against foreign bacteria. If some sort of disruption occurs, interrupting the job of these defenses, bacteria may accumulate and cause a sinus infection, or sinusitis. Some people may be more prone to sinus infections than others, and if you have one, more than likely you’ll get another one at some point in your life. Luckily, treating sinusitis can be done with antibiotics and other home remedies, but sometimes it can take a week or two for the symptoms to go away and the infection to clear. Recognizing the symptoms—which are typical of a cold—is the key to getting treatment. Sinusitis is categorized as acute (sudden) sinusitis or chronic (long-term) sinusitis; those with chronic sinusitis often have allergies and frequent ear infections.

Symptoms of Sinusitis
The main symptoms of sinusitis are pain and pressure in the face and a stuffy or runny nose; the snot will be greenish or yellowish in color. Leaning forward or moving your head often increases the pain and pressure. The location of pain and tenderness depends on which sinus is infected.

  • Maxillary sinus inflammation (behind the cheekbones): pain over the cheeks and upper teeth.
  • Frontal sinus inflammation (in the forehead): pain in the forehead above the eyebrow.
  • Sphenoid sinus inflammation (behind the eyes): pain behind the eyes, on top of the head, or in both temples.
  • Ethmoid sinus inflammation (between the eyes): pain around or behind the eyes.
  • Other symptoms may include: headache, snot going down the throat, bad breath, stuffy nose, a cough that produces mucus, fever, tooth pain, and reduced sense of taste and/or smell.

Causes of Sinusitis
Acute sinusitis can be caused by a viral infection with a sudden onset; it typically lasts for 4 weeks or less. Without treatment, the symptoms will clear up in about a week. Acute sinusitis that is caused by a bacterial infection usually doesn’t clear up on its own, and if left untreated, can lead to chronic sinusitis. Sign that it is a bacterial cause: nasal discharge that contains pus and worsens after 5 days or persists for more than 10 days. Chronic sinusitis is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection; these can be difficult to treat. If the chronic sinusitis is not cured after 2 or 3 antibiotics, the doctor will probably do allergy testing. More permanent changes can occur as a result of chronic sinusitis, particularly to the mucous membranes that line the sinuses, which will probably make you more prone to sinus infections.

Sinusitis Treatment
Treatment can be done through the use of antibiotics, other medications, and through home remedies.

Medications that might be used include: over-the-counter (OTC) nasal sprays, OTC decongestants (nasal or oral), and sometimes an antibiotic might be prescribed by a doctor. Taking over-the-counter cough medications generally works to thin the mucus and enhance the expulsion of the mucus is a possible solution.

Home care
Home care should help open up the sinuses and reduce dryness. Drinking plenty of water and inhaling steam are great for both of these things. Lean over a bowl of boiling hot water, but not while the water is on the stove, 2-4 times per day; you can also use a vaporizer with a towel over the head and bowl to prevent the escape of the steam. Inhale the steam for about 10 minutes; this can also be done by taking a steaming hot shower.

Last updated on Aug 22nd, 2010 and filed under Other Conditions & Diseases. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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